By Rita Thiel
“Look in your closet for those old shoes you haven’t worn for a while and we’ll take them!” said Janille Turner.
The Ocracoke School fifth grade is trying to get 2,500 shoes in order to receive $1,000 from Funds2Orgs, an organization based in Orlando, Florida, that sends shoes to underprivileged countries around the world.
Since starting the collection about two weeks ago, hundreds of shoes have been collected from the boxes at the Variety Store and Ocracoke School.
“I think we have about 400 pair at the school so far,” Turner said. Shoes can also be dropped off at the Ocracoke Oyster Company. “We want gently used shoes,” she said. “No holes, tears or broken seams. Any style is fine: tennis shoes, high-heels, boots, men’s, women’s , children’s. All are great,” said Turner.
The fundraiser will support the fifth-grade’s class trip next spring around the state. Turner, a fifth-grade parent, is helping Jeannie Owens, Ocracoke’s fifth grade teacher, and Megan VanLandingham, a fifth-grade parent, spearhead this effort to collect 2,500 pairs of shoes by the end of the year.
Vanlandingham was familiar with this program and thought it would be a good fundraiser for the class trip.
When their goal of 2,500 shoes is reached, Funds2Orgs sends bags which the students will load with 100 pairs in each bag to send off. The organization (postage paid by Funds2Orgs) will sort the shoes and send them to designated worldwide recipients. After that, the fifth grade will receive the money.
If their goal is not met, they won’t receive the $1,000 and the shoes will have to be donated elsewhere.
The collection will continue at least through the end of the year or until their goal of 2,500 pairs of shoes is met. Gently used shoes can also be sent to Jeanie Owens, C/O Ocracoke School, P.O. Box 189, or 120 School Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960.
According to Wikipedia, Funds2Orgs, founded in 2013, works with organizations to help them raise money by collecting used and new shoes that are distributed to micro entrepreneurs in developing nations.